Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chunky 3-Bean Chili

This chili recipe is one I came up with after my husband and I started dating. I had never made chili before, but he liked it, so I set out to find something we would both enjoy. Neither of us is fond of tomato chunks or onion, and we don’t like things that are too spicy. This recipe is tasty without being too hot and it’s really easy. Chili makes a warm and hearty meal, which is especially nice on cold and rainy evenings. It can easily be made for a crowd. Even for just the two of us, I make it in fairly large amounts and store it in the fridge or freezer as it makes great leftovers.

1-1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz each)
3 cans red beans (15.5 oz each)
2 cans kidney beans (15.5 oz each)
2 cans pinto beans (15.5 oz each)
1/2 cup water (optional if you like it thick)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Brown the ground beef with the minced garlic. My husband likes big chunks of hamburger in the chili, so I try to avoid chopping it up too fine. Keep in mind that the meat will fall apart more as you simmer the chili, so you have to start with fairly large chunks if you want it to stay chunky.

Drain the meat and add the tomato sauce, canned beans, and water (if desired). I usually partially drain the kidney beans (they have a really thick syrupy juice), but not the others.

Stir in the seasonings. The seasonings can be adjusted to your taste. I almost never measure them. Taste the liquid, and if it still tastes like tomato, add a little more chili powder. If you accidentally add too much chili powder, no problem. Just add another can of beans.

Bring the chili to a boil and then turn it down and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it gets too thick, add a little water. Be careful not to simmer too long. You want the flavors to mix, but you don’t want to simmer it to death or you’ll get mushy soup instead of chunky chili.

Serve hot, topped with shredded cheese, and with buttered cornbread on the side. Delicious!

Linked up with WLWW, NOBH, and WFMW.


  1. I recognize these great recipes. I really need to find a way for these great food items to NOT stay on my body as long as they do. It is easy to put the weight on but it takes a whole lot more time to make it leave.

    1. That's very true. I'm still working on some of that baby weight. But I'm getting there (just a little slower than I want).

      Obviously, some foods just should be avoided because they are empty calories, but there's no reason to avoid good tasting food to lose weight. Thank goodness or we'd never be able to muster up the willpower! I've found that it just takes determination to eat healthy choices, to keep food portions small, to drink lots of water, and to exercise. In spite of these recipes I post (which are some of our favorites that we eat regularly), Doug has actually lost weight since we got married because he eats healthier, more balanced meals now.

      One thing we do to avoid overeating is to dish up a small, but decent portion and then not go back unless we are really hungry (as opposed to just wanting more). We rarely have seconds and we keep dessert portions very small. We also avoid eating large amounts of fatty foods and do not usually snack between meals. We both hope to keep in shape so we're trying to start healthy habits now.